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Category Archives: Spotlight On

Spotlight On, Julie Anne Lindsey

In a town filled with her past, she never expected to find her future…

Seven years ago Cynthia left Honey Creek with a broken heart. Three years ago Mitchell arrived with one. Now Cynthia’s come home, and these two hardened hearts can’t stop arguing. If they’d only take a break long enough to find some common ground, they might be surprised to find love can grow anywhere.
If they’ll let it, love will find a way to Bloom.


*Bloom is book one in my new Seeds of Love series. I’ll be planting those seeds all year.

Please tell us about yourself and what made you start writing?

My name is Julie Anne Lindsey and I am an obsessive reader, a writer, a blogger, a wife & a mother of three. I used to write for posterity, to log the ins-and-outs of my kids’ lives. I read a book a few years ago that captivated me, and a switch flipped. After that, I wanted to write a story that would affect other readers the way my favorite authors have affected me. Suddenly, I wanted to impact someone too. I want to reach out and put a smile on a stranger’s face.  This is me trying.

Can you tell us a little bit about your new release? How did you come up with the idea?

Bloom is the story of a heart broken girl who ran away from her grief for a long time. Now, she has to come home and it’s harder than she expected. Everyone has moved on. She’s not the town sweetheart anymore. Her friends have families and the town has a new golden boy – who seems to hate her for no good reason.

The story was born of one of my favorite sayings: Bloom where you’re planted. And the sassy heroine was inspired by the Reese Witherspoon character in Sweet Home Alabama. Best movie ever.

What propelled you to write BLOOM?

I feel like I have a special connection with Honey Creek. I grew up in a small Ohio town and got into my share of trouble. Avoidance was my way of dealing with lots of things for many years. The head-in-a-hole method works amazingly well until it doesn’t. Writing Bloom, I wondered how a heroine who ran away from her life would handle having to come home…even just for a visit. Plus, everyone deserves an epic romance, a toe curling love, especially someone who’d been so sad for so long. I had to help her!

Did you have a solid support system when you chose to write romance or did you have anyone disapprove of your decision?

I write sweet romance, so I don’t have the same issues and considerations many of my fellow romance writers have. I didn’t need to consider a pen name or what my church, family, or children’s teachers would think. For what it’s worth, I think all that junk is extremely unfortunate. Writers are artists and we should be able to write from the heart, uninhibited, and tell the story we have to tell without all those stone-tossing-glass-house-dwellers…but then again no one asked me and who am I anyway? LOL.

Do you have a daily ritual to get you in the “writing zone”?

No, no ritual unless frenzy could be considered a ritual. I write all day every day, anytime I can steal a minute. I have three kids 8 and under, so those writerly moments are fast and fleeting. I do what I can before they get up and again after they go to bed. I’ve also been known to blog from my phone while locked in the bathroom. Though, a closed door isn’t much of a deterrence for these guys. I just keep plugging away believing every word counts.

What is the most difficult part of your writing journey? What is the most exciting part?

I have a tough time with the waiting and the rejection. Waiting is part of the life, I know but I am always waiting on things and it drives me bazonkers. The rejection is hard too, especially when you think something is perfect and others don’t. Again, I know, that’s how it goes. But, it can be tough. The “We love this…but no.” is the worst. LOL. Those can make a girl drink from the bottle.

My favorite part is all the other writers I’ve met, both online and in person. I feel a sisterhood with complete strangers and I love it. This is a great business to be in if you love people because the writing community is brilliant. They are funny and encouraging and downright inspiring. I keep trying harder thanks to all the wonderful friends I’ve made through writing.

What is the most extreme or wildest thing you’ve done and what did you learn about yourself?

Until I had my first child, my whole life was a series of crazy decisions and impulsivity. In high school I got a tattoo from a skeevy looking guy who accepted a 40 oz of malt liquor and a pack of Marlboro menthols as payment from a 16 year old. In college I had my belly button pierced during a night I barely recall. I’ve walked the plank form an actual pirate ship in Barbados and peed in a bathroom marked “Wenches.” It’s only during these last 8 years that I’m learning to find adventure in the understated. I know from my past that I’m fearless and from my present that I am tenacious. By looking at the big picture, it’s easy to see how much people can change.

Any last words for your readers?

Writing this sweet romance series was a wonderful experience for me. The characters are close to my heart and more than once I’ve thought of them in terms of calling for some reason, only to remember they aren’t real. LOL. Sleep deprivation +caffeine & a great imagination do those things. I hope you’ll consider a visit to Honey Creek. It’s a beautiful place where anything can happen. Kick off your shoes, relax into that porch swing and cuddle up to a steamy mug of hot tea. Taking a trip to Honey Creek is as easy as Amazon : ) See you there!

What should we expect from you in the future?

I have a series of sweet romances coming to Honey Creek this year. The series is called Seeds of love and I’ll be planting those seeds throughout 2012. I also finished a novel length sweet romance coming next year for the same line.

Outside of romance, the first book in my Killer Confections Saga is coming in April. The title is Death by Chocolate and it’s delicious tale of murderous proportions.

I am a mother of three, wife to a sane person and Ring Master at the Lindsey Circus. Most days you’ll find me online, amped up on caffeine & wielding a book.

You can find my blogging about the writer life at Musings from the Slush Pile

Tweeting my crazy at @JulieALindsey

Reading to soothe my obsession on GoodReads

And other books by me on Amazon

Spotlight On, Stacey Kennedy

Stacey Kennedy’s novels are lighthearted fantasy with heart squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even give a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’ll find fast paced action, life threatening moments and a big bad villain that needs to be destroyed.

Her urban fantasy/paranormal and erotic romance series have hit Amazon Kindle and All Romance Ebooks Bestseller lists. If she isn’t plugging away at her next novel, tending to her two little ones, she’s got her nose deep in a good book. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband.

Be sure to drop her a line at www.staceykennedy.com, Facebook and Twitter, she loves to hear from her readers.

Please tell us about yourself and what made you start writing?

My novels are lighthearted fantasy, heart squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even give a good chuckle every now and again.  I’m not a planner.  I don’t write with a set idea because no matter what I plan, the characters’ voices always come through and demand I listen to them. So, I gave up trying to fight it!

The journey as a writer all began when I was a teen and wrote poetry, which still to this day I pull out to have a good laugh.  Later on, I tried a couple of times to put a book together with no such luck.  Couldn’t ever get past the first few chapters.  But once I was exposed to the paranormal world, ideas came quickly.

At first, it was a way to keep my brain alive since being a stay at home mom can be a little let’s say―numbing. It was an escape from screaming kids, dirty diapers and plain old mom duty.  It started as a hobby, but as the stories progressed it became a passion. Now, I indulge at nap time, especially the juicy bits! Every mom needs a good thrill!

How long did it take before you were published? Was it everything that you thought it would be?

After I finished my first story, The Willow, it took around six months to get that publishing contract in my inbox. It was everything I wanted…and more.  I’ve learned a great deal since I released The Willow, and every contract I’ve received since still makes me jump up and down in excitement.

Can you tell us a little bit about your new release? How did you come up with the idea?

My latest release is BIND ME ~ Pact of Seduction Book One. I came up with the idea because I wanted to write a story about four best friends. Add in the fact that I wanted to include their ultimate fantasy, and I knew it’d be a fun series to write.

What propelled you to write urban fantasy/paranormal romances?

I love the paranormal romance/urban fantasy genre and love a series more!! Nothing can hook me in more than an adventure and one that keeps on going. I love a page turner, one where I’m up at a ridiculous time and my eyes burn because I can’t stop reading. Witty characters, dominant men, danger, action, romance and hot sex―oh my!

 Need I say more?

Did you have a solid support system when you chose to write romance or did you have anyone disapprove of your decision?

My family is very supportive of my writing. In truth, though, they don’t really know what I write. When I was first published, The Willow has love scenes, but they’re “sweet” in nature.

During the year that I was published, I dabbled into erotic romance, and I’ve never let my family read those because…well…it’s too weird for me. So we leave it at–they know I write sexy stories, they’re proud of me, but they don’t need to read them.

Do you have a daily ritual to get you in the “writing zone”?

Coffee. I need it. I love it. I can’t live without it!

What is the most difficult part of your writing journey? What is the most exciting part?

I love writing the first draft of a story. I don’t plot out my stories so it’s much like reading to me. I can’t wait to see what happens next and see where the characters take me.

The difficult part of the writing process for me is revisions. It’s always challenging, and tends to get a wee bit boring when you’ve read the story ten times. Trust me, usually by the end of edits, I hate the book, and that’s how I know it’s ready for publication! 🙂

What is the most extreme or wildest thing you’ve done and what did you learn about yourself?

Wrote a book and then published it! I never thought I’d be an author. Never had big dreams. I just kinda stumbled upon it. Even to this day, I’m still thrilled that I can keep doing this as a career, and that readers enjoy my stories!

Any last words for your readers?

THANK YOU! I always feel honored to meet new readers, and even more so, that I give them a story that touches them in some way. I really don’t have words to express how much I appreciate the support!

What should we expect from you in the future?

I have many revisions ahead of me since I’m rewriting all of my Otherworld novels, and they are being re-released with Entangled Publishing as full-length novels. So that’s keeping me busy.

Other than that, I have two new series that I’m going to release next year. I want to get them both out by early next year. Both are urban fantasy romances, and both are nagging at me to write them!

 

Four best friends embrace their fantasies and make a pact of seduction to live out their deepest and darkest desires. The women place their lives in the hands of fate and one short straw declares Marley will be the first to awaken her secret wishes.

Reed, a Dom at sex club Castle Dolce Vita, has lived the BDSM lifestyle for awhile, but has yet to find a submissive that suits him. That is until he meets Marley, a woman seeking to indulge her fantasies.

As Reed guides her through a night of pleasure, Marley brings more to him than a perfect submissive–she stirs emotions in him long ago lost. By binding Marley, he runs up against his own limits, and now he has to choose between his self-protective barriers or surrendering to the wildfire Marley has reignited in his heart.

Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: BDSM theme and elements, including spanking.

♦ BUY LINK

Spotlight On, Nancy Naigle

Nancy Naigle writes love stories from the crossroad of small town and suspense. After spending most of her life on the Virginia coast, she and her husband left Tidewater for greener pastures a little further inland in Southampton County. They now live on a 76 acre goat farm where Nancy spends every spare moment working on her next book.

To learn more about Nancy, visit her online at:
www.nancynaigle.com

Nancy is giving away an eBook ARC of her current release. To get your name in the drawing, all you have to do is leave a comment to be eligible. A winner will be chosen at random and will be notifiied via email. Please leave an email addy if it is not available on your profile.

When Romance Divas was kind enough to invite for the Spotlight a few months back we talked through the standard questions. How long had I been writing? How long did it take to get published? You know, that kind of stuff.

Well, that was fun, but this time I thought I’d just share a little about me. My first novel came out this summer. SWEET TEA AND SECRETS is the first in a series of books with ties to the small town of Adams Grove. When you read a little bit more about me, I think you’ll see why I write small town stories.

My daytime job is with Bank of America, but I’m one of the lucky Americans that enjoy a job with a company that allows telecommuting. I used to work out of the Norfolk, VA office. That was an 80 mile commute each way so you can see that having no commute has added hours to my week that used to be spent on the road.

My husband and I own a goat farm here in Virginia. He is a full-time goat rancher, and I confess I have about one of the prettiest views around. Especially in kidding season. There’s just nothing cuter than a pasture full of young kids making their momma’s nervous as they race each other up and down the hill. We breed boer-cross goats. The boer color makes our herd fairly consistent. Most look very similar to the kid in my arms in the picture to the left. White with a red head is considered color correct for this breed. Goats have a 5 month gestation period and the does usually have twins. We have had quintuplets before, but we usually end up having to bottle feed to help the momma out when that happens.

Last weekend I announced the Market Goat Show at the Virginia State Fair. This is the sixth year I’ve done it and the show just gets better and better each year. It’s fun to see the future producers of our state compete to win the prize and represent the industry with such high standards.

I’ve always had a love for small towns. The peace I find on the drive through the rural areas to get to the town is almost treasure enough. I’d much rather spend the day rambling through a string of shops in a small town than in a big trendy mall. And you can’t beat a small town diner for a good home-cooked meal either.

They say write what you know. Well, I’m writing what I love and that’s small towns and stories that I can escape my hectic day to day in. I hope you’ll escape in them, too.

The name of the town in my books, Adams Grove, is a real town here in Virginia, but there’s no bakery, flower shop or Main Street like there is in my stories. I took the best of all my favorite small town visits across the nation and made Adams Grove the town anyone could escape to. I hope you’ll pay a visit to Adams Grove in Sweet Tea and Secrets and then keep an eye out for the second story with ties to that small town. OUT OF FOCUS will be out on November 14th.

Here’s the blurb:

Kasey Phillips thought her biggest problem was deciding whether to accept the job to photograph Cody Tuggle’s honky-tonkin’ tour, until an accident on Route 58 claims the life of her husband.

In a desperate race against time as a hurricane threatens the eastern seaboard, they search for her three-year-old son who is missing from the wreckage.

Family and friends rally to help, but someone knows more than they are telling.

 

What’s your favorite thing about small towns? I’ve been having fun with a hashtag on twitter #WhatILoveAboutSmallTowns  It would be great if you’d share your thoughts here and on twitter.

Hugs and happy reading,

Nancy

www.NancyNaigle.com




Spotlight On, Grace Greene

On the Crystal Coast of North Carolina, in the small town of Emerald Isle…

Juli Cooke, hard-working and getting nowhere fast, marries a dying man, Ben Bradshaw, for a financial settlement, not expecting he will set her on a journey of hope and love. The journey brings her to Luke Winters, a local art dealer, but Luke resents the woman who married his sick friend and warns her not to hurt Ben—and he’s watching to make sure she doesn’t.

Until Ben dies and the stakes change.

Framed by the timelessness of the Atlantic Ocean and the brilliant blue of the beach sky, Juli struggles against her past, the opposition of Ben’s and Luke’s families, and even the living reminder of her marriage—to build a future with hope and perhaps to find the love of her life—if she can survive the danger from her past.

Grace is giving away an eBook copy of BEACH RENTAL. To get your name in the drawing, all you have to do is leave a comment. A winner will be chosen at random and will be notifiied via email. Please leave an email addy if it is not available on your profile.

Please tell us about yourself and what made you start writing?

I’ve always been a big reader and, for many readers, at some point that translates into a desire to write a story.  In fact, I’ve written all of my life, completing a novel and some short stories over the years, but until I found the writing communities online, and via those, writing groups in my geographic area, it was very much an on and off effort. About five years ago, I picked up writing again and vowed not to give up despite rejections. With the help of my critique partners and writing buddies, I’ve kept going.  That first novel is in a cardboard box; the novel I wrote five years ago waits on an external hard drive for a rewrite.  Beach Rental is actually my fourth novel. My third, Kincaid’s Hope, will be released in January 2012, also by Turquoise Morning Press.

For most of my life, creative expression has been a war between writing and artistic output. Oh, for more time in the day! Writing and drawing and painting, textile crafts and needlework, photography and graphic art…even choosing the right color of paint and putting it on the wall just so, can be a creative event. Everything around us feeds the writing or the design. And all that we take in from the world strives for expression. At this time in my life, I think I’ve found the best balance of both art and fiction, but it’s always good to stay flexible!

How long did it take before you were published? Was it everything that you thought it would be?

Beach Rental was released in July. It’s been an educational experience, for sure. How long did it take to find publication? I’d have to begin the count five years ago. For Beach Rental, specifically, which was written throughout most of 2010, the contract offer came in December of 2010.

It’s been an education and adventure and certainly full of highs and lows. I learned that finding publication only sets up a whole new set of goals and worries, triumphs and fears. The editing needed before publication and the marketing post-publication competes with the need to be writing the next book. Perhaps it would be easier if I didn’t work a fulltime job besides, but I’m not sure of that. Sometimes we use our time better if we have less of it to waste.

Do you love the ePublishing / small press platform and are you going to pursue traditional publishing in the future?

For a new author, I think the small press platform may be the gentlest introduction to publishing, although that’s just a guess since I haven’t experienced a release with a traditional publisher.  I’d like to find out how it goes with a traditional publisher. A big benefit of a small press is the individual attention given to the writer and having a direct line to the publisher. In fact, my publisher contracted for my books and later signed me as a cover artist, too. I can use my art background and graphic skills and my writing, too! Is that the best of both worlds, or what?!?

Can you tell us a little bit your new release? How did you come up with the idea?

I spent a holiday down at Emerald Isle on the Bogue Banks in North Carolina. One week at a duplex on the ocean, what a setting! The island of Bogue Banks lies east/west. You walk to the sunrise in the morning and to the sunset in the evening. I’m a dedicated beach walker, so that’s hard to beat.

I had a setting, but not a story or characters.

I met a young woman who would have had lots of potential if she’d grown up differently. People are more than genetics—we are also products of our environment. And then several of my friends died of pancreatic cancer. They were full of love and life and were the epitome of selflessness during their last months. I wondered what would happen if I brought a dying man together with the girl who had no prospects for a happy future? What could he bring to the relationship that would impact her life and future in an enduring way and what gifts could she give him?

You’re an artist, what types of work do you do and in what way do you incorporate your love of art into your writing?

I sketched in pencil and painted in oils for many years, then shifted to photography and digital art.  But working a fulltime job and writing as a second fulltime job doesn’t leave much time for anything else. Perhaps because my art doesn’t find much expression otherwise, it shows up in my books. In Beach Rental, Luke owns an art gallery (I always wanted to do that) and Juli takes art lessons from Anna at Ben’s urging. Art is venue through which Juli gains confidence in herself and where she also finds comfort when the challenges mount.

Do you have a daily ritual to get you in the “writing zone”?

I work my day job during the week and write in the evenings and on weekends and holidays. I don’t have a ritual or process for writing in the evening. I just jump into it in the best way I can. But on Saturday morning, I stay in my jammies and park my butt in my desk chair and start writing and keep writing for as long as I can. Once I’m dressed and looking respectable, I’m too easily distracted.

How do you stay inspired?

Honestly, I don’t. It’s often a struggle. Sometimes I feel uninspired and, as Rachel in Wynnedower’s Stranger (my WIP) says, “I feel as flat as a blowup snowman with a bad leak on a cold morning.” Generally, something comes along—an intriguing person, an interesting setting or a concept that digs it’s sharp little teeth into my imagination and won’t let go. Faith is the most important thing, I think—the knowledge that just when I think I’m almost on empty, something else always comes along. Faith keeps the panic at bay.

What is the most difficult part of your writing journey? What is the most exciting part?

Writing and writing. Some days it’s exhilarating; some days it’s grim. Beyond that, the most difficult part for me is sending my work out to face rejection or acceptance. Sometimes the what-ifs are overwhelming. The best advice I can give is to follow your heart and head. First person or third? Too much narration? Breaking rules? Remember, you can’t satisfy everyone at any time. Just do your best, protect yourself from naysayers and sustain your hope and faith.

What personal goals have you made for yourself this year?

Survive my debut release. Complete my WIP. Complete revisions on my upcoming release. Do all of the aforementioned and also market my current release. Last and most elusive: Stay sane.

Those all sound like writing goals, don’t they? Except the last one. So, I guess my person goal this year is to stay sane.

Any last words for your readers?

Beach Rental, Kincaid’s Hope, and Wynnedower’s Stranger are books about people and relationships foremost, but strong settings and suspense are also important to me. I hope you’ll give these books a try (Kincaid’s Hope in late January) and will let me know your thoughts. I want these stories to move the reader and if the characters linger after the last page has been read, then I’ll be thrilled. It’s reader feedback that keeps me going in those uninspired or difficult times. Thanks to everyone who’s let me know they enjoyed Beach Rental!

What should we expect from you in the future?

Fiction with romance, suspense and inspiration, always with a strong heroine at its heart…Please visit me at www.GraceGreeneAuthor.com

Grace Greene writes fiction with romance, suspense and inspiration, always with a strong heroine at its heart. Vivid settings and quirky secondary characters round out the stories and there’s a happily-ever-after ending—most of the time.

Grace is also an artist and photographer. She is drawn to houses and landscapes that ooze character and is fascinated by history and human nature. When she’s writing, all of these interests show up on the page.

BEACH RENTAL is her debut release. Her next novel, KINCAID’S HOPE, is scheduled for release in January 2012. In KINCAID’S HOPE, Beth Kincaid finds that swearing off the Kincaid temper and creating the perfect life free from untidy emotionalism has its own dangers and can even get you killed.

A Virginia native, Grace lives in central Virginia. Stay current with Grace’s releases and appearances at www.GraceGreeneAuthor.com


Spotlight On, Katie Reus

The chilling words of a killer: This is just the beginning…

Ten years ago, Lilly Carmichael left town without an explanation, breaking Braden Donnelly’s heart. The death of her aunt has brought Lilly home–and face to face with memories she thought were long buried. Still getting over a traumatic incident from her work as an NSA agent, Lilly initially dismisses the face at her window as a figment of stress-induced paranoia.

Now the sheriff of Hudson Bay, Braden has spent the last year hunting a sadistic murderer. But his investigation is turned upside down when new evidence indicates that Lilly is the killer’s next target. Determined to protect the woman he’s never stopped loving, Braden must race against the clock to trap a dangerous psychopath—before it’s too late…

Purchase info (some links available for pre-order):
Direct from publisher
All Romance eBooks
Amazon (Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (Nook eReader)

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been writing before you sold?

I love romance and have been reading it for many, many years (since I discovered my mom’s secret stash). Before I had any clue I wanted to be a writer I read romantic suspense almost exclusively so that’s the genre I first tried my hand at (about 5 years ago). About two years later I discovered I enjoyed writing erotic romance and paranormal romance as well so I entered a contest to see if I was actually any good at writing erotic romance. I ended up placing first with Running from the Past then subsequently selling it to Ellora’s Cave (the final judge was an EC editor). After that, I continued writing erotic romance (and eventually separating my erotic romance from my other stuff) but I was still actively searching for an agent. I signed with one a year later, then another year after that we sold my paranormal series to NAL/Signet.

How has the transition been from ePublishing to NY been for you?

I’ve always had my own ‘personal’ deadlines I like to meet but working on contractual deadlines has been a new experience. With epublishing I’m able to write at my own pace and I don’t answer to anyone as far as turning something in at a certain time. That kind of freedom is wonderful. Right now I have things I have to turn in to my two traditional publishers (Harlequin & Signet) by certain dates so even if I wanted to start on another story, it would have to wait until I’m finished with these two. Luckily, I love the two stories I’m currently writing so that’s not an issue. I’m still publishing digitally and I’ve also self-published a couple novellas recently and I don’t plan to give that up just because I sold to NY.

What are a few things you picked up from the publishing experience that have been a good learning tool for you?

Hmm, things I’ve learned: Don’t settle for an agent just to have one. A bad agent is worse than none at all (I love mine, btw). When I signed with her my first two manuscripts were rejected by NY but she stuck by me and with the third submission we signed a 3 book deal. Her contract and publishing experience were so valuable during the whole process. Another thing I’ve learned is that good critique partners are like gold. If you have a good one, hold on to her.

What has been the toughest obstacle you’ve had to overcome along the way? What was the best experience you’ve had from being published?

I don’t think I’ve had one particular obstacle that’s been the toughest. Constant rejection is really the main obstacle and I’ve received a lot of those over the years. After a while it gets to the point where you wonder if anyone will ever like your writing. My best experience was receiving my first advance check 🙂

You have written quite a few books for ePublishers, how do you feel about the ePublishing explosion, and now the popularity of self-publishing?

I think the popularity of both epublishing and self-publishing is great. All my erotic work is primarily novellas and there’s not much of a print market for shorter lengths unless you’re talking anthologies. I love writing short and having options and I don’t believe in putting all my eggs in one basket. Plus, coming from solely a reader’s perspective, I read almost exclusively on my Kindle so I really love the convenience of epublishing.

What do you feel about the self-publishing market and how do you think it will affect publishing?

I have no idea how it will affect publishing and I’d be a little scared to speculate, but I’ve recently self-published two novellas and I’ve personally loved the freedom of doing it. In addition to gaining more readers, I’ve seen an increase in sales for my backlist so for me it’s been a positive experience. There are pros and cons to being traditionally published, epublished, and self-published and I think it’s great that writers have more options now. They don’t have to choose one or the other anymore.

Tell us about your latest book.

Deadly Obsession is a dark romantic suspense releasing from Carina Press on 8/15/2011. It’s 80,000 words and to date it’s the darkest thing I’ve written. Here is the blurb:

Ten years ago, Lilly Carmichael left town without an explanation, breaking Braden Donnelly’s heart. The death of her aunt has brought Lilly home–and face to face with memories she thought were long buried. Still getting over a traumatic incident from her work as an NSA agent, Lilly initially dismisses the face at her window as a figment of stress-induced paranoia.

Now the sheriff of Hudson Bay, Braden has spent the last year hunting a sadistic murderer. But his investigation is turned upside down when new evidence indicates that Lilly is the killer’s next target. Determined to protect the woman he’s never stopped loving, Braden must race against the clock to trap a dangerous psychopath—before it’s too late…

What’s up next for you? Are you currently working on a new book?

I have a release from Harlequin Nocturne (Cravings) on October 1st (Destined Mate). In January 2012 I have a romantic suspense releasing from Carina. Then in February I have another release from Nocturne Cravings and the first book in my new paranormal series from Signet is also releasing (Alpha Instinct: A Moon Shifter novel). Currently I’m working on the third book in my Moon Shifter series.

What do you like best about the writer’s life?

I love setting my own schedule and being able to work anywhere. Granted, I pretty much work from home, but it’s nice to know that I can pack up my laptop anytime it’s necessary. Being a new mom, it’s doubly nice working from home.

If you weren’t a writer what would career path would you choose?

Ack! I have no idea. I floundered around after college because I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do and knew I didn’t want to be a bartender for the rest of my life so… If I wasn’t a writer it’s possible I might have continued my education to get a Master’s in psychology (I have a Bachelor’s in psychology) and looked for a counseling job within the school system. But really, I can’t see myself doing anything else and loving it the way I love writing.

Who or what inspires you?

Music, various places I’ve traveled, the people in my lives, books I read, favorite authors (Linda Howard will always be a fave of mine)…pretty much anything and everything inspires me.

What are you reading right now?

Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione. It’s my first book by her.

What advice would you offer to the unpublished romance writer?

Don’t give up and don’t make excuses for why you can’t find the time to write. If you want something bad enough you’re going to have to work really hard for it so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Rejection sucks but it’s something you’re going to have to deal with if you want to survive in this business.

What would people be most surprised to learn about you?

I have an addiction to zombie movies, a couple tattoos, and I lived on a boat for one summer during my college years (a year I wasn’t in school).

Katie fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it. However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After graduating summa cum laude with a degree in psychology and working too many jobs she hated, she finally figured things out.

She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense. Her publishers include Carina Press, Harlequin Nocturne (Destined Mate, October 2011) and in early 2012 the first book in her new paranormal trilogy will release from NAL/Signet Eclipse (Penguin). Regardless of genre, she always includes a happy ending. When she’s not creating stories she loves spending time with her husband, family and the eclectic group of animals they’ve adopted.

To learn more about Katie, visit her online at:

www.katiereus.com



Spotlight On, Nancy Naigle

Nancy Naigle writes love stories from the crossroad of small town and suspense. After spending most of her life on the Virginia coast, she and her husband left Tidewater for greener pastures a little further inland in Southampton County. They now live on a 76 acre goat farm where Nancy spends every spare moment working on her next book.

To learn more about Nancy, visit her online at:
www.nancynaigle.com

How long have you been writing before you sold?

I’ve been writing seriously toward publication since 2005. That was the year I’d joined RWA and went to my first RWA national conference. It was in Atlanta, GA that year and just so happened to fall on my birthday. That trip was what I gave myself as a present that year. I made a lot of friends that weekend that I still chat with today, and many are now published! So, long story short….it took me from July 2005 to May 2011 for my first novel to get into a readers hands.

What has been the toughest obstacle you’ve had to overcome along the way?

The toughest thing for me has been that publishing is like no other business I’ve been in or run. It’s been one eye-opening experience for me. Let me explain. You see, by day I’m a Senior Vice President with Bank of America. I’m used to planning what I’m going to do to achieve success, then following that plan. That’s all fine and good except that’s not really how it works in the publishing business. It moves S-L-O-W and, at the same time with the advent of e-pubs, is changing in ways folks never imagined. But I’m no quitter. I have my pile of rejections, but I learned from each one and knew that every bad news email was one step closer to the “yes” I’d eventually get. I firmly believed that as long as I didn’t quit, I would be published. I think you have to believe in yourself before anyone else will.

Tell us about your latest book.

I write love stories from the crossroad of small town and suspense. My characters have flaws just like you and I. They’ll probably even feel familiar. The quirky characters are probably going to remind you of that crazy aunt or the black sheep brother of your best friend in college. Hopefully, they will tickle memories of people from your own past, and you’ll feel like you already know them.

What’s up next for you?

I’m so glad you asked that! My second book in the Adams Grove series is OUT OF FOCUS and it will be available in November. It’s my fav-fav-favorite.

Here’s the blurb:

Kasey Phillips thought her biggest problem was deciding whether to photograph Cody Tuggle’s honky-tonkin’ tour, until an accident on Route 58 claims the life of her husband. In a desperate race against time as a hurricane threatens the eastern seaboard, they search for her three-year-old son who is missing from the wreckage, but someone knows more than they are telling.

This is the book that I won several contests with including:

1st Place :: Mainsteam/Literary Category :: 2010 Maryland Writers Association Novel Contest
1st Place :: Mainsteam Category :: CT-RWA The WRITE Stuff
2010 Finalist :: Single Title Category :: Silicon Valley RWA Gotcha! Contest
2010 Finalist :: Novel w Romantic Elements :: San Diego RWA SPRING INTO ROMANCE Contest

Are you currently working on a new book?

I am. I have another Adams Grove story in the works and a young adult titled inkBLOT that is coming out later this month that I co-authored with Phyllis C. Johnson under the pen name Johnson Naigle. inkBLOT, it’s a neat story abouta teen entrepreneur, Ronnie Wright, who owns an inkBLOT game site. When a string of high-profile crimes have one common link – inkBLOT – Ronnie becomes the prime suspect. He has to find a way to clear his name and expose the real criminal.

What do you like best about the writer’s life?

The best part since I’ve been published is hearing from readers. I collect antique handkerchiefs and boy have I had a use for them. I swear I cry weekly over the kind words I receive. (Hugs ya’ll!!)

If you weren’t a writer what would career path would you choose? I have a career.

Yep…that full-time position as a Senior Vice President with Bank of America is a wonderful career. I’ve been with the bank for over 15 years. I even won their Award of Excellence as a leader (an honor bestowed upon the top 10% of leaders in the company) and got to take a wonderful all-expense paid trip to a beautiful resort a few years back. I love being able to tap both my right and left sides of the brain between my day job and my writing. It’s a perfect balance.

What are you reading right now?

One Summer by David Baldacci. Pretty cover and I love David Baldacci.

What advice would you offer to the unpublished romance writer?

Finish what you start and never give up!

What would people be most surprised to learn about you?

Gosh, I’m such an open book I’m sure folks know just about everything there is to know about me. I appreciate the small things. Give me an evening with lightning bugs, pick a flower off the side of the street, snuggle a baby goat, a handwritten note…those are the kinds of things that brighten my heart.

Adams Grove is mourning the loss of Pearl Clemmons, known for her award-winning chocolate pecan pie and the best unsolicited advice in the county. When Jill returns to settle her grandmother’s estate, she’s greeted by a Clydesdale-sized guardian dog who doesn’t seem to be earning his stripes (although he drools on them pretty well), and Garrett Malloy, the ex-fiancé she left behind a year ago. Jill insists on staying at Pearl’s amidst a string of break-ins that have sleepy Adams Grove wide awake and locking its doors. Jill’s past with Garrett becomes the least of her worries when she learns that their lives are in danger. She is the only person standing between a desperate conman and a secret from Pearl’s past. Will Pearl’s past kill any chance of Jill and Garrett’s future together?

Amazon kindle and paperback
Other eformats

 

Spotlight On, Sable Hunter

Sable Hunter writes three types of erotic romances: cowboy, paranormal and contemporary. She writes under two different pseudonyms. Her hometown is New Orleans, Louisiana. Currently, she lives in the Hill Country of Texas, near Austin.  She is married to Jason Hunter and they live on a ranch where they take care of thousands of cows, hundreds of horses, dozens of cats and one dog.  HA!  Oh, and they are proud parents of one precious little boy!  She loves her kindle and at present it is full of almost 800 erotic romances.  She loves to cook, read, travel in their RV and ghost hunt.  In the spring, her home sits in a field of bluebonnets.

 

COWBOY HEAT

Aron McCoy is determined that he will never fall into another woman’s trap. He has spent his life taking care of the ranch and his brothers. Thinking that he will provide a stable home life for his siblings, he marries a money-grubbing woman who has eyes for everyone but him. So he has learned his lesson. The only thing a woman is good for is sex…until Libby comes along.

Libby Fontaine is trying to cram a lifetime of living into a few short months. She is in remission from leukemia and for the first time, she has a glimmer of hope for a normal life. Her dream of living on a ranch is brought to reality when a friend of the family offers her an opportunity to work at Tebow ranch for the summer as housekeeper and cook. This will be more than a job to Libby, for she will get the chance to be around the man that she has been in love with for most of her life.

When Aron lays eyes on Libby it is instantaneous lust – he wants her with every fiber of his being. But Libby confesses her innocence and Aron backs off – he has nothing to offer a girl who deserves white lace and promises. Then Aron catches Libby pleasuring herself in the stock tank and hears her cry out his name – and the heat is on.

How long have you been writing before you sold?

I had been seriously writing for two years before I sold to Secret Cravings Publishing.  They have picked up three of my books.  I also have 6 that I have self-published successfully, so right now – I’m living in the best of both worlds.

What has been the toughest obstacle you’ve had to overcome along the way? What was the best experience you’ve had from being published?

The toughest obstacle  – gee, I’ve had a couple.  The first is my community and friends – it was so unexpected to them to find out that I wrote erotic romances.  Some did not even try to understand.  The other obstacle has been finding time to both write and promote – it seems that I have to choose – and that is hard, sometimes.

The best experience I have had is the total joy and support from other authors over my success.  I have met some of the best people in the whole world in this industry.  It is wonderful to have someone to talk to that understands.

You have written quite a few books for small press and ePublishers, how do you feel about the ePublishing explosion, and now the popularity of self-publishing?

ePublishing and self-publishing has opened doors for people to get their work in front of readers where these doors used to be very narrow and hard to open.  There are so many wonderful publishers and opportunities out there that authors should be ecstatic at the choices they have.  ePublishing is not a phase and it is going to grow by leaps and bounds. I feel that those of us who embrace it early and wholeheartedly will only benefit.

Self-publishing can provide almost instant and assured income.  You have the ability to make something happen for yourself and you succeed or fail based on how much work that you are willing to put into it.  Lately, I have been approached by several other published authors seeking my advice on self-publishing.  Given the opportunities that Amazon and some of the other big names have given the writing community, it is a very attractive option.

Are you actively pursuing NY publishers in addition to being ePublished?

No, not yet.  I want to get a few years and a few more books under my belt before I try.  Building a reader base through epublishing and self-publishing is one way to be attractive to these folks and that is what I am trying to do.

Tell us about your latest book.

My latest book is Hot On Her Trail.  It is the sequel to Cowboy Heat whose cover that you see.  This is a series set in the Hill Country of Texas about 6 cowboy brothers – the McCoys – who live on Tebow Ranch.  They are handsome, hunky, hot and – dare I say it – hung.  This series has been well received and the third in the series Her Magic Touch will debut in June.

Hot on Her Trail grabs people’s attention because the blurb states:

Jacob McCoy wishes for a wife and a family.  Tis the Season for miracles when a young woman shows up on his doorstep: homeless, in danger and expecting a child – Jacob’s child.

Their relationship is complicated by the fact that, A – they’ve never met before and B – she’s a virgin.  Jessie is determined not to be a burden to the McCoy family.  As far as she’s concerned, she is just passing through.  Jacob has a different opinion – he wants Jessie in his life, in his bed and in his
heart.

What’s up next for you? Are you currently working on a new book?

Yes, Her Magic Touch is about the third McCoy brother – Joseph.  He is paralyzed from a mountain bike accident and has lost all hope.  When his physical therapist arrives to help him, she is much more than he bargained for.  In fact, she is his guardian angel and through miracles, magic, and much love – Cady gives him back his manhood and his life.  And in the bargain – she almost loses hers.  This is a roller-coaster of emotion, hot – hot sex and more tears and laughter than you can imagine.

What do you like best about the writer’s life?

There are so many things that I like, but most of all it is meeting the other fabulous people in the industry.  Writing – especially erotic romance – attracts a special kind of person.  We are sensual, uninhibited, bold and live in a dream world of our own making.  Finding other people who can understand and support our oddities is joyous.  I also like the odd hours that the business allows.  I am a night owl and the nighttime makes my mind wander to things that – shall we say – go hump in the night.

If you weren’t a writer what would career path would you choose?

Oddly enough – it would have been public service.  I have always dreamed of being involved in political science and work in the state department.

Who or what inspires you?

There is this man . . . . . Isn’t there always?  No, several things inspire me – Elvis Presley, country music, Cinemax latenight –especially Michael Scratch on Lingerie and reading other authors works.  Inspiration is everywhere, just open your eyes and ears.

What are you reading right now?

I am reading Spurs and Heels by Heather Rainier.  I love that woman!

What advice would you offer to the unpublished romance writer?

My advice is to read everything you can get your paws on – especially books in the same genre and style that you want to write.  Then:  write your novel and go over it again and again.  Then – if you choose to go the published route start submitting and if you want to try self-publishing – go for it – it can be done.  And on the way cultivate friendships in the industry – they will prove invaluable.

What would people be most surprised to learn about you?

My tastes and activities would surprise some people – mainly that I love rap and hip-hop – the beat drives me insane and makes me think of sex – but then, everything makes me think of sex.  The other thing is what I do for fun – I ghost hunt.  And I have found things. . . . . . .

To learn more about Sable, visit her online at www.sablehunter.com


Spotlight On, Ari Thatcher

Ari has always loved romance, the hotter the better. Turning up the heat level in her own writing involved closing her eyes as she typed the “good” parts, but soon she got used to using “those” words and was pleased with the result. Finding out that others enjoyed it, too, was icing on the cake!

Her stories are split between light contemporary and paranormal genres, with some BDSM in the mix for good measure. She enjoys being in a metaphysical world filled with shapeshifters and psychic gifts, but some stories just insist that sex and romance is enough.

Also writing as Aileen Fish, Ari is a member of RWA, including several chapters, and continues to work with her critique partners to make her stories the best they can be.

Leave a comment for a chance to win Ari’s eBook DEMON OF DESIRE. Lucky winner will be chosen at random. Please leave your email address if it is not included in your profile.

DEMON OF DESIRE

The only consolation Sin has for moving into her aunt’s creepy Victorian house is the handymen who come with it. Triplet vampires Baen, Gower and Enoch are yummy enough to tempt her from her self-imposed celibacy and make her forget she’s well on her way to becoming a cat lady.

The brothers instantly recognize Sin as their mate, but realize they need to ease her into the idea of being loved by three vampires. Then a sex-craving demon takes control of Sin’s body and seduces the men, forcing them to make a rash decision with her life.

The demon is banished but the desires remain. Three men might be enough to satisfy Sin, but before she can find out, the demon returns. She must face her fears and discover her true self to have a chance at eternity with her men.

Please tell us about yourself and what made you start writing?

I have always written, starting with skits in grade school, and my first attempt at a novel in junior high. I had many stops and starts along the way to publication but the characters in my head continue to insist on having their turn.

How long did it take before you were published? Was it everything that you thought it would be?

Which time? I was very lucky and sold the third short story submission I ever sent off, after revising it following suggestions from an editor who rejected it. When I got the acceptance letter and check for $9.83 (a penny a word, woohoo!), I screamed. I was standing at the mailbox in the middle of my apartment complex but didn’t care. I was an author! I let life get in the way, though, and it was another fifteen years or so before I was published again.

I don’t know what I expected from publication, to be honest, but the first time I held a book with my name on the cover, I cried. That validation, the concrete proof I was capable of turning out a story good enough to be published, felt even better than I imagined. It was no longer a dream, but a reality.

Do you love the ePublishing / small press platform and are you going to pursue traditional publishing in the future?

I do love ePublishing. The traditional houses are limited in what they can accept, and there are so many wonderful stories that don’t fit into that mold. I think readers are lucky to have so many choices now. A small part of me still thinks about submitting to the traditional pubs, but I have recently ventured into self-publishing and see that as the future. I’m not sure I have the patience to wait for agent acceptance, then publisher offers, and another year or two for release.

Can you tell us a little bit your new release? How did you come up with the idea?

Demon of Desire is a paranormal erotic romance novella about a woman who becomes possessed by a sex-hungry demon, and the choices her heroes, vampire triplets, must make in order to save her. The idea was conceived in an email loop with a group of authors, with an eye toward a vampire anthology. My story idea quickly outgrew the parameters of the anthology and I decided the setting was perfect for a series. I have three more stories in the works for the Whispering Valley series.

Do you use critique partners or do you go solely from the writing, editing, to submission?

I would not exist if it weren’t for critique partners! I’ve been so lucky to find honest writers who are willing to say what doesn’t work for them, or point out plot holes.

Do you have a daily ritual to get you in the “writing zone”?

I don’t. Which is probably why my writing is so scattered at the moment! Some days the story is shouting at me to get back to it and I get a lot accomplished. Others, I’m shouting at the distractions wishing I had a cave to crawl into so I could focus.

How do you stay inspired?

New ideas come from everywhere, seeing a person who would make a perfect hero or heroine, or watching a movie that takes turns I don’t agree with. Sometimes a minor character threatens to take over and I realize they’ll need their own story.

What is the most difficult part of your writing journey? What is the most exciting part?

I can be very undisciplined, which is not good for someone who depends on royalties for her income. I really need to learn to say “later” to distractions and get back to a structured writing day. I can say the best parts are threefold. One, seeing a book cover with your characters, title and name on it. Two, getting a royalty statement showing people are still buying and reading after the promo has died down. And most important, number three, getting those emails asking what happens after the end of the story.

What personal goals have you made for yourself this year?

I set goals for the number of releases to aim for from my publisher, plus additional books from new publishers. I haven’t done well on the “new publishers” aspect, as the ones for Ellora’s Cave are demanding so much time, but I think I’ll hit my goal for number of releases.

What is the most extreme or wildest thing you’ve done and what did you learn about yourself?

I packed up and moved to the middle of the continent, away from family and friends, a few years back. I am very family-oriented, so it was hard to not have them around, and having to rely on myself for everything. But I thrived in the long run and gained a lot of confidence.

Any last words for your readers?

The most important words: thank you! Thanks for buying my books, for participating in contests and for letting me share my fantasies with you. An author is nothing without people who enjoy her books.

What should we expect from you in the future?

I am in edits with my next release, Fighting for Control, with Ellora’s Cave. This novella is part of the 1-800-DOM-help series of BDSM erotic romance. I will also be releasing a self-published paranormal romance novella soon, Renegade Wolf. Then I hope to finish the second book in the Whispering Valley series, Beloved Familiar.

Spotlight On, Angelita Gill

…ANGELITA GILL…

Dimitri Kros is an Inforcer, a protector vampire. He’s the best of the best because of his simplicity.

He’s tempted by no one, distracted by nothing–living–for nothing. A crippling curse forbids the touch of another; igniting only pain, no peace.

After he rescues Brynn Howard, he not only finds himself tempted and distracted, but willing to suffer just to hold her in his arms.

Brynn risks her life for the fight against evil…and now she must risk it all for the Inforcer with a cursed body and soul. Is this the kind of fight she can win?

*Angelita is giving away an eBook copy of The Untouchable to one lucky commenter. Winner will be chosen at random and notified via email. Please provide your email if it is not linked to your account. *


Please tell us about yourself and what made you start writing?

I grew up in a house full of males, but was a girly girl top to bottom. I have been writing stories since elementary school when it was quickly determined I had zero athletic ability, but boy could I spin a tale! My mom insisted I was going to be a writer or journalist some day. I didn’t start writing romance until junior high, when every cute guy I had a crush on was the absolute love of my life. I started writing out of pure obsession…and the ultimate fan of the fairy tale.

How long did it take before you were published? Was it everything that you thought it would be?

About four months after I sent out the manuscript for the The Untouchable, I was offered my first contract. Two other manuscripts were rejected before this, but I never allowed that to stop me. Writing is my dream, and getting published is the jackpot. So far, it has surpassed my expectations. It’s so exciting to see my name and story available for all to read. I have gotten more support than I ever dreamed of, and that always makes things even more amazing.

Do you love the ePublishing platform and are you going to pursue traditional publishing as well?

I do love epublishing, and am excited to have joined in at the perfect opportunity, when it’s growing incredibly hot and fast. Like many others, I think it’s only going to get bigger and more popular as time goes on. Still, there’s nothing like seeing your story in print. I will definitely pursue traditional publishing once I complete a full-length novel. I want to do it all!

Can you tell us a little bit your new release? How did you come up with the idea?

The Untouchable focuses on a hero that was cursed with the inability to touch, or be touched, without feeling pain. He’s been able to deal with it, albeit grudgingly, until he rescues the heroine. She stands for something, he stands for nothing, but yet they inspire each other. I came up with the idea by asking myself, what could be a huge challenging obstacle for an alpha male to deal with when he meets irresistible temptation? Not being able to enjoy it, that’s what!

Do you use critique partners or do you go solely from the writing, editing, to submission?

I have one awesome critique partner who lives two time zones away. I was so lucky to find her. We’re very in sync and the support is vital for me to keep writing. I find that whenever I’m stuck, all I need to talk is have a quick chat with her and I’m back on track. Then I edit again, re-read, and if everything is still flowing, submit!

Do you have a daily ritual to get you in the “writing zone”?

I don’t have a ritual other than waking up. I do require hot tea and a dark room. Writing with the lights off with a candle or two in the room is my ideal comfort zone when writing drama and love scenes. When I’m writing a paranormal story, I play house music in the background. There’s something about sexy, pulsing bass music that evokes snappy dialogue and provocative settings.

How do you stay inspired?

Writing romance has been an obsession since I can remember. I am constantly inspired because even the smallest things can trigger a story idea or a random detail. Street signs, a magazine ad, a song, the name of a nail polish…I get ideas literally everywhere. The notepad on my cell phone is full of random inspirations. When writer’s block rears its ugly head, I catch up on all the romance reading that I neglect when writing.

What is the most difficult part of your writing journey? What is the most exciting part?

The most difficult part has been deciding between what story to develop because I have many I would love to publish! Also, deciding between writing short stories, and devoting the time for a full-length novel. I want to do both, but it’s impossible to do so at the same time! The most exciting part? Knowing this is just the beginning, and that I won’t ever stop pursuing my writing career.

What personal goals have you made for yourself this year?

I want to take ballroom dance lessons, learn some French, go to the RWA conference, and do more volunteering for the Ballet company here.

What is the most extreme or wildest thing you’ve done and what did you learn about yourself?

Moving to Las Vegas on a hunch. I didn’t know anyone here, or a job waiting for me. I quit my job in Minnesota, stuffed my car to the hilt and drove out here with no real plan, just knowing it was something I had to do. Everyone thought it was crazy. It was the best decision I ever made. I learned that listening to my instincts and going for what I really want is not only necessary, but worth the risk. I was the only one stopping from making it happen. When I arrived, I got a job, met the love of my life, made friendships of a lifetime, and am now living my dream by writing every day. I am very blessed.

Any last words for your readers?

I want to torture you, then make you shiver and smile.

What should we expect from you in the future?

Currently I am working on fantasy novella romance which will be complete soon. I have 2 manuscripts that are on submission, both are contemporary novellas. I then want to complete the first book in my full-length paranormal series that has been dominating my sleepless nights for so long. I have heroes standing in line waiting for their story to be told…and their heroine to be claimed.

Angelita has been obsessed with writing since handed the #2 pencil and given her first VHS tape of Dirty Dancing. She writes paranormal and contemporary romance, and The Untouchable is her first e-publication through Cobblestone Press. When she’s not torturing her hero and heroine, she’s spending time with her own alpha male, learning how to play texas hold ’em, volunteering for the ballet, and shopping for vintage dresses.

To learn more about Angelita, read excerpts and blurbs, visit her online at http://vegasromantic.blogspot.com.

Spotlight On, K C Burn!

KC Burn writes gay erotic romance for Loose Id and Carina Press.  She had two books out with Loose Id (MIA Case Files: Wolfsbane and MIA Case Files: Blood Relations) and her Carina Press book, SPICE ‘N’ SOLACE, releases out March 14.

To learn more about KC, read excerpts and blurbs, visit her online at www.kcburn.com.

Every year, Jathan One-Moon faces increasing pressure that he marry and have children. What Jathan really wants is a male mate that can enjoy both playful sex and his more dominant nature. To tame his stress, Jathan orders a male escort from Spice ‘n’ Solace, the premier male brothel in the Galactic Alliance—and is thrilled to be sent a man whose air of innocence and obvious desire for Jathan arouse him like never before.

Jathan doesn’t know he has mistaken Kazha Deinos, the owner of Spice ‘n’ Solace, as his escort. Kaz doesn’t intend to pleasure Jathan personally, but his powerful masculinity is irresistible. Kaz has dreamed of a man who’d take charge and indulge his hidden cravings—a man just like Jathan.

With their explosive passion and unexpected tenderness, Jathan and Kaz soon want to stay together—if Jathan’s position and Kaz’s secrets don’t tear them apart…

*KC is giving away a $10 gift certificate to ARE or Amazon to one randomly selected commenter — Please provide your email address if it is not linked to your profile. Winner will notified via email unless we announce it on the site. *

Why do you write gay erotic romance?

I’ve been writing for a while, and I’ve got completed (yet to be published) manuscripts in various genres — romance has always featured prominently, even if it wasn’t the primary genre.  But, I’ve always had difficulty writing sex scenes — made me extremely uncomfortable.  So, one day I decided I should write an erotic romance to try and see if I could get past the discomfort.  I came up with a storyline, but in the course of plotting and planning, I realized the central conflict between the two protagonists would be that much more poignant if they were both men.

Since I’d already decided on writing an erotic romance, I’d written gay characters in other manuscripts, and I’d read a few gay romances, I jumped in with both feet and went with a gay erotic romance — which ended up as MIA Case Files: Wolfsbane.  I wrote the pivotal sex scene, where Adam and Carmichael first get together, before anything else.  You know, just to make sure I could manage it.  It was surprisingly enjoyable and incredibly freeing.  Which is when I came to the conclusion that sex scenes made me uncomfortable because I’m worried people will think whatever woman I’m writing about is me.  With two guys, there’s no real danger of that.  Suddenly, the book just took off — it was the most fun I’d had writing in a long time, which is saying something because I do love writing.

Also, conflict is the driving force behind any novel, whether it’s conflict from outside sources or whether it’s from internal conflict.  Although I personally wish acceptance was a non-issue, from an author’s point of view, the struggle of gay men and women to be accepted in society, accepted by law, accepted by the people who love them, or even to accept themselves, has very rich, emotionally laden possibilities for conflict.

And most of the stuff I write has paranormal or futuristic aspects.   Probably due to the fact that I grew up reading sword & sorcery fantasy and watching sci-fi movies.  The Belgariad by David Eddings was the first series of books I loved, and Star Wars was the first movie I remember watching.  You never forget your first loves, right?

Do you think after reading your novel any of your readers or fans would be surprised to find out you are a heterosexual woman?

From what I understand, many authors of gay erotic romance are straight women.  Why this is, I’m not in a position to say, although I suspect it may have something to do with the fact that women are more likely to write romance.  Also, many of the authors who write in this genre feel as I do – that love between consenting adults should be celebrated, regardless of gender.  I’m given to understand that the readers of these books are split about 50-50 between gay men and straight women.  So, I can’t deny there may also be a wee bit of “if one hot guy is good, two is better” involved.  But ultimately, I don’t believe the gender or sexuality of the author should have any influence on the legitimacy of the story.

Does your husband and friends know what you write?  Or care?

I write what I need to write.  Like many authors, I hear voices in my head.  The characters demand that their stories be written, and whichever voices are loudest get their stories out first.  My decision to write an erotic romance undoubtedly influenced which characters spoke loudest, because in erotic romance, the sexual relationship needs to be pivotal to the story.  It’s not just a case of stuffing sex scenes into the story haphazardly.  Certain characters and storylines I have ideas for are not particularly suited to the erotic romance genre.

Being a married, straight woman has very little to do with it, except for the fact that my husband was not the first person to read the Wolfsbane manuscript, as he had been with all my previous stories.  I had a gay male friend read it first, to make sure it wasn’t a complete crock of sh–.  The first time I saw him after he read it, he fanned himself and asked if I’d been a gay man in a previous life — I was pretty sure I’d, ahem, nailed it.

Then I told my husband.  Who was, as I expected, extremely supportive.  He’s one of my best editors, and so he helped me with this manuscript as well.  As a straight, married woman, I admit to being extremely thankful that my husband did not find it arousing at all!

Most of my friends know what I write also, and I think it actually amuses most of them to be able to tell other people about it — in fact, besides my husband, I’ve had three of my straight male friends read what I’ve written.  I think my favourite quote from one of them was “Apart from the gay love substory which did nothing for me (excellently written and detailed though it was), the Umbrae/werewolf storyline was very well done.”  My parents also know.  Most of my coworkers do not know, however.

Do you think you were able really put yourself into that experience in an authentic manner?

This is a question I get a lot.  I’ve also read that there are those who don’t believe straight women should be writing gay fiction of any sort.  Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, of course, but here’s the way I see it.  Authors have vivid imaginations.  Authors always have to imagine themselves in another’s point of view, often someone of a different gender.  They have to imagine, and make the reader believe in, a character whose experiences, beliefs, background, culture, family, job and emotions are different from their own.

I don’t believe every author who has written about a sexually or physically abused character has necessarily been abused themselves.  I don’t believe that every author who has written about abducted characters, or emotionally disturbed characters or serial killers has personal experience of the same.  If they did, it wouldn’t be fiction, it would be a memoir.

Now, that’s not to say an author’s own life experiences don’t influence themes and characterization.  Most of the manuscripts I’ve written have themes based on betrayal and abuse of trust.  I know this is a direct result of my own particular hang-ups.  But I don’t believe for a second that an author needs to experience something to be able to write about it believably.

Romance authors regularly write about men having sex, often quite graphically.  Do I know, truly, what it’s like for a man to have sex with a woman?  Nope.  But as far as I’m concerned, it’s not that much more of a stretch for me to imagine a man having sex with another man.  If I have questions, I’ve got friends I can ask, and there’s also the handy-dandy internet.  I get as big a thrill from a reader telling me how much they loved one of my characters as I do from them saying the sex was hot.  Because that means I’ve done my job — created the believable from nothing but my imagination.

How are you able to make the romance genuine?

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to learn the craft of writing.  I don’t believe I’ve learned all there is to know — I fully expect writing to be a lifelong learning experience.  I’ve tried to assimilate, from reading thousands of books both good and bad, what works and what doesn’t.  I love what I write, and my characters become real to me.  And I think that’s one of the keys to a good story, and assist in making the romance genuine.  The characters have to be relatable and sympathetic.  The conflict has to be believable and not just the result of a misunderstanding, otherwise the book will read like a poorly written Friends episode.   The basic internal conflicts in Wolfsbane are Adam wanting to be accepted for who he is, and Carmichael being afraid to let anyone know who he really is.  In Blood Relations, it’s the effect of secrets and lies on Cooper and Frazer’s relationship.  In Spice ‘n’ Solace, both Jathan and Kaz need to be able to stand up for themselves and what they want while being proud of who they are.  I think many of those issues have been experienced by all of us, at one time or another.

What’s next for you?

I currently have 3 manuscripts complete and on submission, and another 2 in progress.  They are all gay romances, although one of them is a little light on the erotic bit… just didn’t fit the story.  But that isn’t to say I’ve completely given up on heterosexual romances.  I have a manuscript I intend to finish this summer and submit, because I’d like to reach a larger audience with my writing, and I’d also like to stop in at my local bookstore and see my book featured prominently.  That is unlikely to happen anytime soon with my gay romances, although I wish that were not the case.